Barely a day passes without another account of a death of someone of an oppressed minority at the hands of the authorities. This one occurred over three years ago. We have accounts of arresting officers applying pressure to the neck, of a large plastic bag completely obstructing his throat, of CS gas sprayed into his face from 6cm., of enquiries and inquests clearing the authorities, and finally last Friday, November 27th. 2020, the family learned the one officer due to face IOPC misconduct proceedings over their son’s death left the force last year before disciplinary proceedings began.
The officers concerned belonged to Operation Viper, which tackles gun crime. Viper briefings, according to the unpublished Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) report from 2018, had never mentioned Da Costa, Gomes, Greenaway or their car. They had been pursuing another car with an armed suspect, but lost them. The most senior plainclothes officer involved told investigators the Mercedes was then targeted because a young black woman was driving. He “stated they could see the driver was a black woman in her early 20s, which ‘did not seem normal’ as the vehicle was worth at least £30,000”. Might there be some racist and gender stereotyping here!
Da Costa had much to live for. A devoted dad, the 25-year-old was a skilled car mechanic with plans to set up a refurbishment garage. But the family allege a “smear campaign” was orchestrated by the police to depict Da Costa as a gangster and drug dealer. His death, which sparked riots at the time, stands alongside those Jean Chalse DeMenzies, Mark Duggan and Rashan Charles.
If Kier Starmer was serious about Black Live Matter, about ‘taking the knee’ he would be demanding the police are held to account, that institutional racism in the force is thoroughly addressed, and compensation is paid for miscarriages of justice. Where’s Wally? Nowhere to be seen.
Read the full story here Observer